49 is a horror fiction novel by American author Scarlett Lautner. The book was published on September 15, 2007, the day after Scarlett's 12th birthday.
During his 49th birthday party, a man discovers a family secret that only he can know by a strange man. The man then kills himself with a shotgun. The 49-year-old man goes all around town, trying to uncover secrets of his family's past. When he finally finds a book at the town library about his family tree, it says that everyone in his family disappeared at age 49. He thinks that this is impossible, because his mother is 72 and his father is 74, and he sees them dozens of times a week. It then says in a letter dated September 18, 1923, that a man explains that he was recently given his powers just three weeks after his 49th birthday. The man discovers that the man behind the letter is his great-great-great-great grandfather. He then asks his parents if they know anything about the "superpowers" that his great-great-great-great grandfather received, and they say they have no idea, but later when he goes in to ask them a question about his brother, who is serving six months in Afghanistan, he sees that they have hung themselves. He calls the police, but they never show up. At midnight, he reads a book by Dostoyevsky about a man that develops powers on his 49th birthday. While reading the book, he becomes so enveloped in it that he goes crazy, wrecking his house, setting it ablaze, then throwing tear gas inside his neighbors' homes while they are sleeping. When the police arrive, he gets in their car, and is eaten alive by the police car, as the car is alive and knows he has developed his powers.
Scarlett noted that she got the idea from a recurring nightmare she had, where she gains superpowers for a birthday present, but goes around destroying everything and killing everybody. She stated in an interview that the book only took her a week to write the entire thing. She posted a sneak peek on her website on September 1, 2007.
The book was originally published in hardcover on September 15, 2007. Scarlett said it was the best present she had ever gotten, because her mother, Jess Lautner, published the book without her knowing. She did not have any particular book signings, but did give away copies of the book to fans who won a copy on her website. At the time, the book was the thickest she had ever written, but since she wrote constantly, she finished it in under a week. The book consists of 272 pages, including a 15-page epilogue, and a 12-page author's note. The book was released for the Kindle, Nook, and as an eBook on February 15, 2012.
The book was re-released as a comic book as part of Lautner's "Lautner Graphix" series, in which a lot of her books were re-released as comic books.
The book has been signed on as an episode on the upcoming show, "Stories", which is mainly a different Scarlett Lautner book adapted into a one-hour episode each week. The show will consist of 12 episodes.